So much has happened in three weeks and I knew I would never be able to stay on top of things to post a blog every week! Let’s face it, am I really as organized as I want to be? I’ve tried the studyblr thing, and it’s a great time but it’s not really for me. Since the last time I’ve blogged, I have been to an AS Roma vs Palermo calcio game, visited Pisa, visited Milan, seen a ballet at the Teatro dell’Opera, and attended an International Women’s Day event at the United Nation’s World Food Program. I’ve seen some of the beautiful hidden places in Rome, made tiramisu, and danced my weekend nights away. All while: learning swear words in Italian, some Roman slang, and having the occasional tearful moments thinking I don’t want to leave yet, please don’t make me go back.
I have totally and completely fallen in love with Italy and with Rome. Every day that passes I feel myself getting sad that I soon will be looking at my last few weeks here and I know they will pass by quickly. I feel it in the moments when I’m sitting at Terrazza di Gianicolo staring at all of Rome from above, when I frequent the market down the street and hearing a friendly “Buon Giorno” every time I walk by, when I look around the room at all of the faces I met watching everyone laugh and smile and realizing I may never see some of these faces again. I cherish every single moment and day here no matter what I am doing, and I’ve even considered staying an extra month or two because I really don’t ever want this feeling to end. I feel like if I could eat this feeling whole, my entire body would be filled with so much content and happiness. A similar feeling to the feeling of sunlight on the skin at the first signs of spring. It’s difficult to not be sappy and emotional when this place feels so much like home.
Just the other day I was sitting in the Arcadia office watching a short youtube video about being in Rome that was created by a previous Arcadia in Rome student. I had watched it prior to coming to study abroad, and seeing it again after being here for two months was such a different feeling. I felt my eyes wet with tears and I looked over at Tina and my human rights professor Stefania whose faces were getting red and some tears were forming in the corner of their eyes. I felt myself feel so many emotions at once realizing how much of an impact this experience has already made on me.
They don’t tell you that it’s going to be this way. They don’t tell you how it feels to arrive back on the metro, to hear “Treno a Laurentina” and “Prossima Fermata: Basilica San Paolo” after a long weekend in a different city. They don’t tell you how great it feels to finally walk back in your familiar neighborhood and be welcomed with a smile by familiar faces as you walk by on your way back to your apartment. They don’t tell you how much you will connect with the others around you, with the staff, the students, and of course the Italians. They don’t tell you that you will find your self smiling at small moments feeling a strange nostalgia inside because you don’t want the feeling to ever end. They don’t tell you how great it is to hear “Ciao! Come stai!?” upon walking into the office. They don’t tell you how it will feel when you bond and connect with your family that you’re tutoring. They don’t mention the little moments like giving two kisses on each cheek to the people you’ve met out multiple times, and they don’t mention how rewarding it feels to finally have that short conversation in Italian that you’ve been dreaming about. They also don’t tell you how it will feel to FaceTime with your whole family and hear the various “I miss you’s” from everyone.
They don’t tell you that some days you will wake up on a Sunday and notice the stillness in the city, without waking up to honking cars, or children running around upstairs because on this day every thing is closed and people rest and people go to church. They don’t tell you how it feels to drive through the city, listening to a song that makes you feel alive as famous monuments, churches, and lights pass by. They don’t tell you the euphoria you feel when you’re dancing along to your favorite songs with the people you’ve bonded with the most here. They don’t tell you what it’s like to meet someone you never want to leave behind here in Rome even though you know that very soon you will be making a very emotional goodbye. They don’t tell you how you’re meant to feel rather warn you of how it feels when the honeymoon phase ends. I hope this feeling for me never ends.
It’s the best I can describe it but even the best poets and songwriters couldn’t pin point the epitome of this feeling. While being here, I’ve found a love for calcio after attending the game. I’ve experienced a beautiful ballet with my close friends, climbed a duomo in Milan, and took an exciting tourist pic with the Torre di Pisa. And in between all of these exciting events was a whole lot of exploring, food, and amazing people.